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AVAILABLE EXPERT - The truth behind Blue Monday

Friday, January 15, 2016

Queen’s University psychology expert Kate Harkness is available to comment on Blue Monday. Often called the most depressing day of the year, Blue Monday this year falls on Monday, January 18. It’s called that because of the combination of cold weather, holiday credit card bills and the days are short.

“There is no scientific basis to the third Monday in January being the ‘most depressing day of the year.’ However, talking about depression at this time does raise awareness of the effect of winter, generally, on our mood due to low levels of sunlight and our decreased tendency to want to go outside because of the cold. Sunlight and activity are natural anti-depressants,” says Dr. Harkness. “Therefore, getting outside and taking a walk during sunlight hours, even for 15-20 minutes can help prevent the winter blues. If you feel that your low mood is interfering with your functioning at work, school, or home, talk to your doctor or mental health professional.”

Please note Dr. Harkness is only available for phone interviews.

To arrange an interview, please contact communications officer Anne Craig (613-533-2877 or anne.craig@queensu.ca) or Chris Armes (613-533-6000 ext. 77513 or chris.armes@queensu.ca) at Queen’s University News and Media Services Department in Kingston, Ont., Canada.

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